Interview With Hidetaka Miyazaki About Dark Souls 3

Dark Souls 3 Dancer of the Frigid Valley

Dancer of the Frigid Valley


Dark Souls 3 is probably one of the most anticipated games of recent years. From what we know so far, we can see that Dark Souls 3 is part Dark Souls and part Bloodborne.

At Gamescom, Michael McWhertor of Polygon interviewed Dark Souls series creator and From Software president Hidetaka Miyazaki to discuss Dark Souls 3. They talk about the new Battle Arts system, bosses, challenges, and storytelling.


Battle Arts

“While working on Bloodborne, I started to realize what new things I should bring to Dark Souls 3, which has different characteristics, to allow players to have a viable range of tactical options and character build options,” said Miyazaki. “Obviously, in Dark Souls, the player is allowed to use items, magic and more.

“However, as additional elements — as an evolution — I’ve added the Battle Arts to each weapon. Something similar will be added to spells in the game, and those definitely provide something new to Dark Souls 3. Those will maintain the basics, but bring something new to Dark Souls 3, that will definitely solidly polish the Dark Souls franchise, while remaining a Dark Souls game.”

Battle Arts will be a major part of the game, with some encounters and boss fights being built around this new mechanic.

“It will drastically change the gameplay; it’s not a minor thing,” said Miyazaki. “Battle Arts allow a player to have a wide range of tactical options. Even if players are defeated [by a boss], having Battle Arts will motivate players to try the same scene again, but using Battle Arts.”



McWhertor asked Miyazaki about bosses from both an aesthetic and gameplay perspective.

“One of the elements I want to bring to boss character design is contradiction,” Miyazaki said. “We have the Dancer of the Frigid Valley; she is definitely a formidable enemy, but at the same time players sense not only that it’s scary, but [that] there’s a sense of sadness. Contradicting elements — that’s something I want to bring to boss character design, not just fearful enemies but something more that can be sensed from each boss character.

“In regard to gameplay elements for bosses, we’ll bring the heat-up system [to Dark Souls 3],” We’ve already heard about the heat-up system in a leak earlier this year. We know that the aforementioned boss, the Dancer of the Frigid Valley, will change throughout the fight: starting with a single flaming sword, she will pull out a second, ash-covered, sword when her health is depleted to a certain point.

Miyazaki also said he hopes to avoid “stereotypical” boss fights in the third Dark Souls game.

“I’m aware there are some boss designs that get a bad reputation from some of the fans out there,” said Miyazaki. “I’m aware of that.”


Challenges and Story

“Dark Souls without challenge, that cannot exist,” said Miyazaki, in response to the popular subject of Dark Souls 3 difficulty.

Miyazaki says From Software is not trying to create something impossible, just something to make players exclaim, “Oh, my god,” he says.

Dark Souls 3 will maintain the same type of cryptic storytelling that the Souls games are known for, as Miyazaki said he prefers to leave the interpretation of the games’ stories up to players. Responding to a question about whether Dark Souls 3 is set in the same locations as the first two games, he said that though they share the same “worldview,” “I have no intention of using the first two games as a basis for Dark Souls 3.”

Now that the Souls series is well-established, its once-opaque mechanics and extreme challenge familiar to millions of players, McWhertor asked Miyazaki how he plans to upset expectations, as he once did with Demon’s Souls in 2009.

“I definitely want to do something fresh [for Dark Souls 3] and I’m still working on it,” he said. “I cannot go into details about it yet.”


SOURCE: Polygon

About the Author

Matthew Guiste

I've been a gamer for as long as I can remember, and probably longer still. It started out with my dad's Atari, eventually I moved onto a NES, and a Sega Megadrive but the defining console, and year, for me was the PlayStation in 1999: the year Final Fantasy VIII was released. Since then I've been a hardcore gamer, though not competitive in any way. I started out with JRPG's, and these days I usually play RPG's and FPS's. There are two things I really look for in a game: good character customisation, and an open world. So it should be no surprise that my favourite game series is Fallout. A game with a really good story, like Bioshock or The Last of Us, will bypass my usual requirements, but those types of games are few and far between these days. I'll play games on anything: Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, iPad, or PC, but I spend most of my time on PC thanks to Steam.

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